Uncertainty over Boko Haram's leadership

2016-08-03 22:41
Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau who last appeared in a video in March. (File, AP)

Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau who last appeared in a video in March. (File, AP)

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Lagos - Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, may have a new leader, according to the jihadist group's online weekly Al-Naba.

In the interview, Barnawi makes no clear reference to the movement's leader Abubakar Shekau, except for a mention of Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance to ISIS in March 2015.

Since the pledge, Barnawi has appeared in several videos distributed by Boko Haram, claiming responsibility for successive attacks, earning him the reputation of group spokesperson, experts say.

Meanwhile, speculation over the fate -and alleged disappearance - of Shekau has been rife in recent months.

He last appeared in a video posted on YouTube in March, looking weak and saying: "For me, the end has come".

A Nigerian security analyst said he believed that Shekau was alive but that ISIS might be seeking to clean up Boko Haram's reputation among jihadists by getting rid of a leader seen as disorganised and unreliable.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa
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